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As a young urban New Zealand artist Tyrone Layne is painting his surroundings – peopled cityscapes which often incorporate elements of popular culture and current ...

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As a young urban New Zealand artist Tyrone Layne is painting his surroundings – peopled cityscapes which often incorporate elements of popular culture and current events. These busy urban cityscapes are snapshots of his environment where crowds of people – businessmen and women, cosmopolitan students, street buskers and vendors, tourists, office workers and families go about their daily lives.

The 19th century English Artist Lawrence Stephen Lowry springs to mind when first seeing the figurative works of Layne. In contrast however to Lowry’s teeming masses of matchstick people commuting to and from grey industrial Manchester factories, Layne’s figures are in focus and meticulously painted. Layne’s paintings provide a wonderful window to the urban South Pacific – bright T-shirted students and tourists, contemporary motor vehicles and architecture, neon signage – in all, life and culture of the 21st century in detail. Layne’s work also reflects the unique cosmopolitan nature of Auckland and to this extent there is a certain element of regionalism reflected in this new series of paintings.

The people, the cars and the buildings are often cropped to enhance the reality of the moving masses, the ordinary people traversing their patch of landscape in the world. This device was first employed by the impressionists who wished to paint the world as they actually saw it, rather than conjuring up contrived or composed scenes.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ironically photographic techniques (which rendered much Victorian art and artists obsolete) were employed by the impressionists where flattened spaces and cropped images were utilized in their compositions.

 

In Layne’s paintings there is often a single character inviting the viewer to join the landscape. Once again this technique is a classical one and has been used for centuries in figurative painting.

In Layne’s paintings we see Auckland contemporaneously –as it really is a vibrant South Pacific city, warts and all.

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